Cey Adams talks Def Jam, opportunity, and the evolution of visual design in Hip-Hop
Famed graphic designer, graffiti legend, and all-around creative genius, Cey Adams, has made his mark in hip-hop by designing some of the most pivotal images of our era including the unforgettable album cover of Biggie’s Ready to Die, Jay-Z’s classic Vol.1,2 and 3 covers, and the edgy logo for Dave Chappelle’s widely successful Chappelle’s Show just to name a few.
Starting out as a graffiti artist in the early 1980’s in NYC, the Jamaica, Queens native joined Russell Simmons’ budding record label Def Jam Recordings, as its Creative Director. There, Cey created visual identities, album covers, and advertisement campaigns for renowned artists such as Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Public Enemy, De La Soul, L.L Cool J, Jay-Z, DMX, and Notorious B.I.G as well as co-founding Def Jam’s in-house visual design firm, The Drawing Board. Late last year, Cey (with long-time buddy, Bill Adler) released the book DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop which showcased over 30 years of hip-hop influenced art.
Aside from the hip-hop culture, Cey also has had a hand in creating ad campaigns for Nike, Adidas, Jansport, Coca-Cola, and HBO.
It’s safe to say that Cey’s striking, avant-garde designs will be forever embedded in the minds of every hip-hop head and in the heart of the hip-hop culture, period. Strap yourself in and take a look inside the mind of a visual phenomenon.
For more info on Cey Adams and his work, visit his official website at: www.ceyadams.com